At my last job, when I was still learning the ropes from my predecessor, I told her one day at lunch time that I needed to go to the Students' Union to get some ink cartridges for my fountain pen.
'Your fountain pen?' she said, raising her eyebrows. 'I just buy 100-yen Byros and throw them away when I'm done with them.'
I had no mobile phone at the time. No air-conditioner at home. No hoover, either. And here's just one more reason to call myself an anachronism: I had a fountain pen.
Sorry, that was a lie. I had, and still have, two fountain pens.
One of them I had bought at the same Students' Union where I told my predecessor I was going to get my ink cartridges. It isn't a fancy pen, but it has a specially bent nib, so when you write with it in Japanese, the characters look as though they had been done with a brush.
The other one is a dark-red, marble-patterned Waterman. It was a good-luck gift from Mr N, my then mentor, who gave it to me just before I left Tokyo to study in England. Recently I bought a bottle of pink ink, encre invisible, and filled up my Waterman with it. At boring gatherings, people habitually see me scribbling away without knowing what I am writing, as my Waterman does not leave any trace on the paper. Actually that would be nice, wouldn't it, if it were true? What really happened was I got tired, and I got lazy, so I just sit around, stare into space, and let my pink invisible ink dry up in my beloved, other, fountain pen.